“It is one of happiest days of my career as a manager. I am so proud.”
This is how Pep Guardiola summed up Manchester City drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at the Etihad. Yes, really.
There was something almost Mourinho-like about the Catalan’s post-match interview.
Granted, City were in a difficult moment after being knocked out of the Champions League via squandering a two-goal lead over Monaco.
That seems to have been the basis of Guardiola’s comments.
“You have to consider the situation we played this game,” he added.
“How we played against them, a top team – they have exceptional players – means a lot to me. That is why I am so happy.”
Sergio Aguero’s goal levelled things up after James Milner had dispatched his penalty. Incidentally, the former England international has kept up his record of never losing a Premier League game in which he’s scored.
This was a case of two brilliantly matched sides going head to head, and neither deserved to lose.
There was some awful finishing on display, particularly from City. Yet, Guardiola is right to be pleased – a couple of months ago, it’s the sort of game they would have lost.
Even so, it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on their top four hopes. The key thing was that they didn’t lose, and they are still just two points behind Tottenham.
The season has clearly taken its toll on Guardiola, and with only the FA Cup left to play for, he probably can’t wait for it to all be over.